Sunday, April 20, 2014

Never close enough, but close enough to try a shot

This spring, I've been proving to myself that the bird photographer's cliche about telephoto lenses never being long enough is mostly true. Of course a person with the patience and skill to closely approach wildlife would not have this problem. For casual wildlife shooters, though, it can seem that you never have enough magnification. (Another way to state the situation is that the lens is never long enough except when it's too long. Birds tend to be shy and fast, so they don't closely approach until they suddenly fly right by you, at which point your long telephoto is too big and heavy to aim quickly, can't focus on a subject that close, and might not include the whole bird in the frame anyway!)

With all of that said, here are three shots from this afternoon, each of which required cropping. These blackbirds showed up before any geese, gulls, or herons.

I had almost given up on seeing any Great Blue Herons when this one soared across the opposite end of the lake.

I had about decided I wouldn't see any more interesting wildlife at all, and was headed home when this cardinal landed in a nearby tree and played hide and seek amid the branches.

[All photos Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II with Extender 2X III]

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  1. Love the contrast of greens and reds in the cardinal picture, especially. As always, though, all three images make me smile.

    1. They are amazingly bright red for a temperate zone bird, aren't they? I guess it's no surprise that seven states chose the cardinal for state bird!


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